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'Earth's empty quarter': many Pacific nations now have falling populations

By John Connell, Professor of Human Geography, University of Sydney
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In 1989, distinguished Australian geographer Gerard Ward wrote that the Pacific was emptying out. As people on smaller islands left to seek opportunity elsewhere, the region risked becoming Earth’s empty quarter. He wrote:

Perhaps 100 years hence, almost all of the descendants of today’s Polynesian or Micronesian islanders will live in Auckland, Sydney, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. Occasionally they may recall that their ancestors once lived on tiny Pacific islands … set in an empty ocean.
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